Black Friday - Friday, November 27, 2015

We have had a slew of questions over the years about why Black Friday is called Black Friday. It makes perfect sense why people would ask the blog here at the American Treasure Tour such questions, since we have actually experienced Fridays - even Black Friday - more than once. Your questions are about to be answered.  Drum roll, please.

The first time we are aware of the use of the phrase to describe the day after Thanksgiving happened in Philadelphia, although we don't even know what year it was - sometime before 1961. The streets of the city became clogged by shoppers and others traveling in the city and creating some sort of chaos or havoc, and critics saw this as unpleasant for some reason.  It took on the current meaning some time later.  Retailers who tended to operate in the "red" throughout the year (meaning, not quite making ends meet between expenses and profit), saw the day as the chance for them to finally get into the "black" (meaning they are finally making a profit).  So, if you want to take a quiet stroll down an empty urban street on the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday is a bad thing.  If you own a shop and you want to start making a profit, Black Friday is a very good thing.  Easy Peasy.  Many, including President Franklin Roosevelt during the 1940's, consider the day after Thanksgiving as the beginning of the Christmas season.  In fact, nowadays, it seems like some retailers consider Labor Day as the beginning of Christmas, at least considering when they start holiday advertising.

So, go out and shop today.  That's what Franklin Roosevelt expected Americans to do.  That's what the retailers still want you to do.  They want that very much.  So it must be the right thing.

FORD!!!!  On this day in 1973, Gerald Ford was confirmed by the United States Senate to become the fortieth Vice President of the United States after the resignation in disgrace of Spiro Agnew.  He would only be VP for a few months, though, as President Richard Nixon would be compelled to resign himself over a different scandal.

JIMI DAY - And now we celebrate the birth of a great American rock 'n roller.  Jimi Hendrix was born in 1942 Seattle, but never really stayed in any one place for very long. He started playing guitar as a teenager, and went where the gigs were, making a name for himself during his time in London, England.  He was widely hailed during his own lifetime as one of the best guitarists alive; unfortunately, he did not live long.  Substance abuse and other vices brought him down at the age of twenty-seven, but he definitely made an impact during his time on this planet.